Some programs can't see external drives

Hello,
I'm new to Linux and I would need some help in the following:

My system is a dual boot PC (Windows 10 / Zorin 16 core) running on an SSD drive.
I have two internal HDD drives formatted as NTFS and several external drives formatted as NTFS and ext4 using them as storage drives only.

My problem is that some of my programs can see neither the external nor the internal drives (except the SSD) when browsing files. I can see all my drives via the filemanager (Nautilus) I can open, cancel, edit all my files so I think the drives are mounted correctly.
Some programs (e.g.GIMP/Inkscape/Libreoffice) seem to use Nautilus for browsing files, so I have full access to them, in some cases (Krita) I can use My Computer/Media/User path to reach the other drives.
But in Flacon and Kid3 the only option is My Computer, where I can't find Media folder so can't reach the other drives just the Music and Download folders on my main drive.

How can I make these programs see my other drives? It is some kind of permission issue?
Moving all my music files to the Music or Download folder to be able to work with them then copying them back to the original folder on my external drive is annoying and takes extra time, so I'm hoping there's a solution.

Thanks in advance.

1 Like

Hi and welcome to the forum :robot:

I had a similar problem when I installed OnlyOffice in Flatpak.
Because of the sandboxing nature of Flatpak/SNAP apps, the app cannot access external disk nor network printer.

Check and see if you installed those apps in apt package, not Flatpak nor SNAP.

4 Likes

In addition, NTFS does not play well with Linux and ext4.

Ext4 uses filing system At need, unlike NTFS, which uses the filing based on First Available Space.
This is why NTFS must be defragmented, whereas ext4 does not fragment - and if it does, it performs self-repair.
Please open a terminal and install:

sudo apt install ntfs-3g

This package helps add a compatibility layer to reading and writing to NTFS from Linux.

2 Likes

Aravisian post for the compatibility layer install is awesome, please do that.

But what FrenchPress also said is very true about the sandbox nature of FLATPAK's.

If your using any FLATPAK APPS, the easiest way to provide them permission to see mounted drives, is by using FLATSEAL
https://flathub.org/apps/details/com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

You can learn how to use it from Youtube video's. But essentially its a FLATPAK manager APP. One of its features, will allow you to provide permission to FLATPAKS.

  StarTreker

yoda
Your Tech Support Guru

2 Likes

But is it not simpler just install a regular apt package?

Hi,
I installed both apps in Flatpack via Appstore.
Actually I install every apps in Flatpack if possible because as I found it has the latest versions of the apps.

  1. Latest version + Inconvenience of sandboxing
  2. Older version + No sandboxing

Everyone has their priority but I personally go for option 2.

4 Likes

Latest can be good, or bad.
The user is responsible to check and use the best choice for their needs and computer, not just go for "bigger number" and hope it works.

The Linux kernel is an excellent example of this.

2 Likes

Thanks for the suggestions to all of you, tomorrow I will try them.

Having the latest version of a program is not because I'm an addict to big numbers :slightly_smiling_face:
I'm using Blender, GIMP, Inkscape where newer version might have not just improved stability but some new and important features, but for sure you are all right, if I can not use a program properly because of incompatibility or other technical issues, then the new features might worth less. Anyway, let's see tomorrow.

Sorry for the mistakes, it's late now and English is not my first language.
Thanks again

2 Likes

As a theme and icon maker, as well as Graphical Illustrations for Tooling and Automotive: I use all of these Heavily - I believe that the current APT packages are more than sufficient for most things. I have checked the Latest Versions just to see if I am missing anything and the answer for me was - No.

It may be different for you. Please try experimenting and exploring with both.

2 Likes

I tried and it seems to be installed already, maybe it comes with Zorin, anyway so it is ok.

I installed it, and after setting the permission rights to the apps finally IT WORKS!!!

Thank you to all for the help, I'll try to take all the advices.

3 Likes

I am so pleased that you got it going! I knew Flatseal would solve that issue. Cause thats how I got FLATPAK Steam to see my mounted external drive for sharing my games library.